Car Accident Dos and Don’ts
If you’ve been in an accident and are dealing with a subsequent injury, you may be confused about what action you should or shouldn’t take. The first steps after an accident can have a huge impact on the outcome of your case. For many, the most difficult thing to remember is that following your instincts may not always be the right course of action. Here are some dos and don’ts to remember after a crash:
- Call 9-1-1
You need to remain on scene and wait for authorities to arrive. Even if your accident is minor, you should call police so they can secure the scene and file a report.
- Obtain information
While you wait for police, exchange contact information (names, addresses, insurance providers, policy numbers) with anyone involved in the accident, and get contact info from any witnesses, as well. If you can, take photos and write down any pertinent information (makes and models, license plate numbers).
- Seek medical attention
It’s common for people in accidents to not realize the extent of their injuries; the shock and adrenaline can often mask pain. If you feel you need immediate attention, be sure to call emergency services. Even if you don’t think you need emergency treatment, you should still seek medical attention as soon as possible, in order to substantiate any claims you might make.
- Cooperate with police
Answer all questions politely and truthfully; answer only what’s been asked of you.
- Seek help from a car accident lawyer
Accident cases can be incredibly complex, and an attorney will help you through your suit or settlement. You should notify your insurance company of the crash, but it’s important that you consult with a team of personal injury lawyers prior to making any written or verbal statements. They can help gather evidence and will negotiate with your insurance company to make sure your settlement is fair.
Although your first instinct after an accident might be to say “I’m so sorry” to any other drivers involved, resist the urge. Expressing an apology (even an indirect one) after an accident can be used as an admission of guilt, and can affect the outcome of your case. Even if you feel the accident was completely your fault, do not admit guilt.
- Offer additional details
It’s common for car accident victims to express theories about the crash or blabber on about inconsequential details. The truth is, this is unnecessary and it can actually hurt your case. Give concise answers to any questions you’re asked, and fight the impulse to divulge additional details.
- Speak to a claims adjuster
Insurance claims adjusters might state they’re there to help, but anything you say to an adjuster can be used against you and can make a big difference on the outcome of your case. Be sure to consult an injury lawyer before making any kind of statement to an adjuster.
- Take a quick settlement offer
An insurance company might offer you less than you deserve to make sure your case is settled quickly and cheaply. Before accepting any car accident settlement offer whatsoever, consult with legal counsel. Personal injury lawyers know exactly the compensation you deserve, and they’ll be on your side to make sure you have the best chance of receiving what you’re due.
Make sure you follow these dos and don’ts to ensure your case runs smoothly and has a better chance of being settled in your favor. Knowing how to correctly react in these difficult situations can help immensely during a stressful and potentially painful time. Working with an experienced team of personal injury lawyers is vital during a demanding, complex case. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, be sure to seek our qualified personal injury lawyers in your area.